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29 December 2011, 10:43
Police think an attempted rape on a woman in Manchester city centre on Christmas Eve could be linked to another attack last month.
Shortly before 6am on 24th December 2011, a 21-year-old woman was on Fountain Street in Manchester City Centre when the offender approached her and asked her for sex.
When she refused the man unfastened his belt, pushed her to the ground and told her to "take it off" before threatening her and demanding she perform a sex act.
When she again refused he repeatedly punched her in the face.
The offender ran off when he was disturbed by a staff member from a nearby shop.
The woman suffered facial injuries and was left shaken.
Her attacker is described as black, 5ft 7in tall, aged between 30 and 40 years old, spoke with a local accent and wore a striped shirt.
Attacks Could Be Linked
Detectives are investigating whether this incident is linked to the attempted rape of a woman at the junction of Postal Street and Dean Street.
Shortly before 3.50am on Saturday 12th November 2011, a 25-year-old woman was threatened, throttled and had her head and face repeatedly smashed against the pavement and wall.
The offender – described as black, of slim build, between 5ft 6in and 6ft tall, with shaven hair and who spoke with an "Afro-Caribbean" accent – ran off when two passers-by responded to her screams for help.
Detective Inspector Andy Naismith, said: "This man's intentions were clear to his victim and are clear to me. Had he not been disturbed she would have been the victim of a sexual assault and we are working extremely hard to identify this person.
"She was making her way to work on Christmas Eve and I am certain a lot of other people would have been doing the same and we need to hear from them.
"Were you in the area? Did you see someone matching the description of the man at any point? If so please call us.
"The offender has ruined his victim’s Christmas and we need the public’s help to identify him before he strikes again.
"Given the similarities in MO and description of the offender we are looking seriously at the possibility this is linked to a similar incident in the city centre in November.
"I want to anyone with information about either incident to call us. Please do not think someone else will do it instead – if you have information get in touch.
"I want to reassure residents that we have a dedicated team of detectives working on both incidents and we will not leave any stone unturned in our search for the offender."
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 3540, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Anyone who has been a victim of rape or sexual assault can contact Greater Manchester Police on 0161 872 5050 or 999 in an emergency. GMP has specially trained officers in place to provide a first class response to victims and help support them through the criminal justice process.
St Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Manchester, can also be contacted on 0161 276 6515. This provides a comprehensive and coordinated forensic, counselling and medical aftercare service to anyone in Greater Manchester who has experienced rape or sexual assault. Services are available on a 24-hour basis and people can access them either as a self-referral or via Greater Manchester Police.